Friday, June 15, 2012

A Great Day in Beautiful Fribourg/Freiburg

Thursday was a beautiful day for a trip to the very bilingual city of either Fribourg or Freiburg depending on which side of the Sarine River that bisects the city you live.

If you live on the West bank of the Sarine, you will be speaking French and live in Frobourg. If your domicile is on the East bank, then it is German for you and you would assert that your town's name is spelled Freiburg.

So we were visiting one city with two names, two languages and most signs in said two languages.

Thus it was obvious that the first place we came across was . . .

 A Cuban Restaurant

Well, maybe not so Cuban
after looking at their menu 

We had eaten a late breakfast, so food was not uppermost on our minds.


Laurie and her love of flowers 

They must have HUGE fish
in the Sarine River 

Those look familiar 

You have to love a city
with topless women as art 

My Dream Ride 

A very interesting chimney 

Among lots of interesting chimneys

As you probably know if you follow this blog, I have a soft spot for the usually black and gold business signs that many stores display above their doors.

Here are some of Fribourg's best. I am going with Fribourg because that is the official name that the Cardinals, the city's American football team goes by. We play the Fribourg Cardinals at home this coming Sunday and then again at their home field a week from this Sunday.

Falcon Hotel

I don't recall what they sell here

A Restaurant

The Swiss Sewing Machine Museum

Another Restaurant
if memory serves me correctly

It doesn't always anymore.

A Restaurant again methinks

A Café near the Cathédrale St-Nicolas

Newer but I liked it still

Antiques, STAY AWAY!!!

Another spot for a meal

A hotel obviously

Why this rather drab sign you ask?

Because their chocolate covered almonds were AWESOME!!!

Definitely Different

Many of Fribourg's businesses have opted for more conventional business signs. Some of these are still an art form in themselves.

Like this butcher shop

Or just a simple painted sign on a wall

These places looked good
but we were not hungry

This fact was a major blow to the local economy.

Who doesn't love a good Puppet Museum

An artsy eatery

Time to enter a church, our first stop was Basilique Notre-Dame where . . .

The Fire Bug was at it again

The BVM may be a bullfight fan

The Basilique was rather plain so we moved across the square to the city's featured Cathédrale St-Nicolas. Big doings here this year as it was built exactly 500 years ago in 1512.

Fribourg is part of the Swiss Route of the Camino de Santiago

We saw about 5 or 6 peregrinos walking towards Spain, great memories indeed.

The neighborhood near the Cathédrale

The Last Judgment
above the Main Portal to the Cathédrale

Four Cool Cats

The Patron Saint of Alphorn Players?

The Cathédrale is just a splendid 13th century edifice with spectacular stained glass windows that are just over 100 years old.

A beautiful cape on this woman

Two Women Saints

Painful Martyrdoms

Right up Ian Murphy's Cinematic Alley

Great Cathédrale Arches


The Cathédrale's Chapelle du St-Sépulcre


The Dragon that St. George is lancing

St. Michael
The Avenging Archangel lancing
a few bad  guys too

Look at that detail!

That reminds me, I still need to
fire a cross bow

Worn Pulpit Steps

Another view of the arches

A Tailor's Crest?

Nice Fount

The Cathédrale's Gothic Tower

That reminds me again, we have tickets to
a String Orchestra Concert in Thun tonight

Another love that I have acquired in Switzerland is a love of fountains and their crowning figures.

A Veterinarian?

Water or currare dipped darts?

Cool, clear drinking water into the fountain

St. George and the Dragon

Fountains are all over the city

Going to the well

A Good Woman I'm sure

Newer and different

That's more like it

This one dates from 1550!

This modern one is only from 1627

Laurie trying to figure out our next move

Her choice?
Coffee for me, beer for her

Fribourg has a lot of living art/beauty as well.

Like flowered balconies



Ferns growing out of a wall

Ferns this time growing out of a bridge
crossing the Sarine River

Ivy Covered Home


Besides flora, Fribourg has a rich architectural look as well

Royal Lions

Door of the Cathédrale

Just a random door . . .

and another . . .

and another -- this one from 1653!

Nice window grate

Heradry, another obsession of mine

Nice Horns

Bicycles as art

It won't be long until we return
to family, friends and TWO little grandsons!!!


Laurie on the Sarine River's
Mittlere Brücke or Pont du Milieu

It all depends on which side of the river you are standing.

The Cathédrale's Gothic Tower in the distance

Walking towards the German
speaking side of Freiburg

Nice look

Fribourg as seen from Freiburg

There is that Cathédrale Tower again

We catch a break!

It was hot and we had a long uphill climb to get back to the Fribourg Gare (French for Train Station). Fortunately we had read about this interesting, low cost (1.20 Swiss Francs each) 1899 built funicular that would whisk us up this steep hill in about two minutes and climbs about 500 meters.

What makes it interesting/unusual is that it is somehow powered by sewer water.

On a hot day like today, we were well aware of that fact.

Enjoy the Funicular with all of my senses

Freiburg as seen from from Fribourg

The Mad Stork was the Oakland Raiders
great DE Ted Hendricks out of the
University of Miami

A bilingual celebration of having hosted the
2002 Swiss National Yodeling Championships

We had a great time in one of Switzerland's jewel cities that does not get the love it deserves from most travel books, in my opinion.

Now is was time to board another train to get back to Thun as we had an 8:00 p.m. concert date!

The concert was going to be held in the Schloss Thun

Or so we thought.

Schloss Thun Masonry

How many rocks did they have to haul up the steep Castle Hill?

We were waiting in the Schloss' outer courtyard but no one else was there and it was already 7:40. That is when, upon further review, I re-read the tickets to discover that we were at the wrong venue!

The Stadtkirche Thun

Not to panic, this church that dates from 1330 was only about 100 meters down Castle Hill from the Schloss. We made it in plenty of time.

The Church/Concert Hall

We were safely in our seats in plenty of time for the concert. 

The concert was title "Hello! (. . . and Good-bye)."

It featured two excellent violoncello players, Sayaka Selina Studer and Thomas Demenga. They were backed up by a 17 piece string orchestra that was just outstanding as they played music from Antonio Vivaldi, Niccoló Paganini, Pjotr I.Tschaikowski and even a New Age piece by Demenga, one of the concert's violoncello players.

For the last session of the concert, five wind instrument players joined the action for the final act of the night, a series of uplifting songs by Joseph Haydn.

It was a rousing night of classical music that lifted us as we opted to walk up the hill back to Helvetica.

No sewer powered funicular in Thun I'm sad to report.

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